Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


8 in 10 voters support repairing national parks, study shows

Eight in 10 registered voters support cleaning up and repairing our aging national parks, in the latest poll by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

House lawmakers are considering legislation that would channel up to $6.5 billion in funding to the National Park Service to begin upgrades to crumbling roads, outdated water and sewer systems, and eroding trails and campgrounds.

Ian Rutter, a guide and owner of R&R Flyflshing in Townsend, near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, said the park’s maintenance needs are worsening.

“Roads need to be maintained. Restroom facilities are a big one,” he said. “Simple maintenance has been forgone for so long that parks seem to be in a state of crisis management.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

To address the maintenance backlog, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act would use money from oil and gas company fees paid to the federal government. Tennessee is home to a dozen national parks that see more than 9 million visitors each year.

Marcia Argust, project director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Restore America’s Parks campaign, said more than 400 national park sites around the country require almost $12 billion worth of maintenance. She said the last time the parks saw significant investment was more than 50 years ago.

“So as you can imagine, with the aging infrastructure and also the increase in pressures from visitors, some of those assets are deteriorating, and there simply has not been enough funding over the past several decades to keep pace with the needed repairs.”

Rutter said well-maintained parks are critical for local businesses such as his.

“Sometimes an overlooked point is that all these great national parks, because they’re such natural wonders, they’re kind of in rural areas,” he said. “So, it provides jobs.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

According to the Pew poll, voters from all sides of the political spectrum say keeping the country’s parks and monuments pristine and up-to-date is important.

The poll is online at

You May Also Like


The 2023 Old Farmer’s Almanac is telling “A Tale of Two Winters.” On sale everywhere August 30, the newest edition of North America’s most trusted...


Manchester Police are asking for the public’s help to locate a Manchester man who has been reported missing by his family. According to MPD,...


 Dot Foods, Inc., North America’s largest food industry redistributor broke ground Thursday (Aug. 25, 2022) on the company’s 13th U.S. distribution center, which will be located...


UPDATE: 10:05pm — Coffee County Sheriff’s Department authorities have identified the suspect in this case as a 16-year old from Franklin County and state...